Tales of a Security Guard Volume One: Poems and Lyrics by Samuel Charles Andrews

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In the new music, the northern idiom was plainly heard " Wynter wakeneth al my care, Nou this leves waxeth bare ; Ofte y sike ant mourne sare When hit cometh in my thoht Of this worldes joie, how hit goth al to noht. Now hit is, ant now hit nys. Also hit ner nere y wys.

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That moni mon seith soth hit ys. Al goth bote Codes wille Alle we shule deye, that us like ylle. But its accent survived ; and when a minstrel of English blood in the first rally of the tongue after the Norman came, listened to a reverdie or an cstrij, he was able to relate it to a spring song in Leicestershire or Northumberland.

Straightway he grafted the foreign slip on the English stock ; and the result was the exquisite offshoot of the twelfth and thirteenth century found in the Harleian and other collections. After Layamon he is the first clearly individualised poet with whom the spoilt ear of the modern reader, puzzled over the old spelling and the accentual differences of the verse from our own, is likely to strike up any acquaintanceship. His Pricke of Conscience is the only one of his writings that has become proverbial ; and it is that which least counts to us here. Going back to his pages as collected by Mr Horstmann in the volumes of we are aided in getting on terms with him and his unusual pitch of voice and highly emotional verse, by the poet's own account of himself.

He was born at Thornton, near Pickering, in Yorkshire, towards the end of the thirteenth century, about the time when the war tax was pressing hard on the common folk, and the churchmen were growing bold enough to fling in the teeth of Edward the First the Bull of Pope Boniface the Eighth. He went to Oxford, but like Shelley long afterwards, if for a different reason, never completed his terms there.

Samuel Charles Andrews (Author of Nobodies Victim)

What- ever other results the schoolmen and their philosophy had upon him, they could not alter his radical impulse, which was that of a passionist and quietist in one, and a born poet " For the right way to that bliss, That leadeth man thither, that is this. He cut the sleeves off the grey, and took a hood of his father's for head-dress. His sister did not like either his strange attire or the way it was procured.

Indeed she thought he had gone mad, and loudly protested as much, and possibly her outcry helped to drive him from home. Some friends, the Dalton's, had a house not far away, and to them he betook himself. It was the Eve of the Assumption, and the family were at church, and the strange boyish apparition in grey-and-white made its way into their pew. They received him, thanks to the understanding of Lady Dalton, with the one form of hospitality which mattered to him. He had been quite satisfied to hide himself in an outhouse ; and a cell or lodging was assigned to him ; and when the spirit moved him, the boyish hermit was even allowed to go up into the pulpit and preach, and he did so with a fervour that told his grace was from Heaven.

There is an impulsiveness about these first adventures of Richard Rolle, which one finds reflected in his hymns and songs, written with quickening beat and at times with almost excessive fervour. It stamps Rolle of Hampole at once as a continuer of the northern tradition, and a writer with an ear finely susceptible to the new music. For further comparison take two stanzas of a poem, which 1 Won ; won through, in the north-country sense.

Till I comm til my kyng. The writer's use of north-country dialect helps to knit up the tradition, as we find it perpetuated in him ; and his evident relish for some of the old phonological effects of the north-country, as they may be still heard in parts of Yorkshire, gives a deeper tint of individual colour to his writing.

He was much influenced by earlier religious poets, including the Franciscan monk, Thomas de Hales, whose Love Rune was quoted in another page ; and he was born in a time con- genial to his phantasy. He was an original, nevertheless, as originality goes in poetry. What he borrowed from others, he made as Coleridge did intrinsically his own, the minister to his ecstasy. He presently moved from his early retreat to another abode within the shire, and finally to Hampole from which he takes his name near Doncaster. While at the Dalton's he made acquaintance with Margaret Kirkby, a recluse who lived at Anderby.

For her he wrote a short religious manual The boke maad of Rycharde hampole to an ankeresse, with pieces of prose in English ; to which we may add a part of his most impassioned verse. She gave him freely the most valuable thing one soul can give to another : spiritual com- panionship, and the demand upon the mind arising from it. In his autobiography, scattered in his remains, Latin and 1 MS. Cambridge Dd.

The Canor in especial is his inevitable theme, and he dwells with rapture on the Musica Spiritualis, the melody of the Choir Invisible, and the Sonus Ccelestis. In his Latin tractate, De Incendio Amoris, he has a passage about the descent of the lyrical inspiration, which is, though written in prose, itself a song of ecstasy : a lyric fragment of unmistakeable quality : " I was in a chapel, delighting in the sweetness of prayer or meditation, and felt in me, suddenly, an unwonted and blissful ardour.

After I had long wavered, doubting whence it was, I learnt it was from the Creator and not from any creature. It burned sensibly, and with unspeakable sweetness, a half-year, three months and some weeks, to the inflowing and the perceiving of the Celestial sound and Spiritual Music ; that which belongs alone to the Eternal Hymn of Praise and to the sweetness of the unearthly Melody. For it cannot either be sung or heard save by them that have first received it, and they must be made clean, and withdrawn from the world.

Books by Samuel Charles Andrews

And while I was in the same chapel, on Easter Eve, and sang there as I could, lo, a sound of playing the psaltery, or rather of those who sang above me. And while I prayed in my longing to those Heavenly Ones, I felt, I know not how, in myself a wondrous concord, and received a most delicious Harmony from Heaven, which tarried with me. And thereafter my thought was continually changed into the music of song, and my meditation into hymns ; and in prayers and in psalmodies, I gave out the same sound from me.

Furthermore, that ardour of which I have before told you broke forth from the very affluence of sweetness into song, sung in secret, only before my Creator.